An intensive immersion in the liberal arts tradition designed for academically gifted students, with
a special emphasis on the exploration of diverse issues in literature, philosophy, world
history, and more.
General Information and Eligibility
Most students enter the Program at the beginning of their freshman year, while others join after having earned some college credit. It is possible to enter the Program in either the fall or spring semester.
Students interested in joining the Scholars Program must:
Note: students with more than 60 hours of college credit cannot be admitted to the Program, nor can students enrolled in the small number of Benedictine University undergraduate degree programs that terminate off-campus (e.g., the Dual Acceptance Program with Midwestern University in Pre-Pharmacy).
Basic Qualifications for Prospective Students
There are three basic qualifications for prospective students who have not previously enrolled in a college or university:
- a minimum composite ACT score of 27, or SAT score of 1210;
- a cumulative high school GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0-scale; and
- a rank in the top 20% of the applicant’s high school class.
The Scholars Program does consider applications from high school applicants who possess only two of the three basic qualifications listed above. Gifted and hard-working students are always encouraged to apply.
For students who have previously enrolled in a college or university, there are
two basic qualifications: a cumulative college GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0-scale and letters of recommendation from two college instructors.
Admission to Benedictine University
No student can be admitted to the Program who has not been admitted to
Benedictine University. Although students may apply for admission to the Scholars Program before a decision on their application to Benedictine University has been announced, no student can be admitted to the Program until she has been admitted
to the University.
The Orientation is a presentation describing the Scholars Program and its requirements. This is followed by a question-and-answer session. Applicants are required to attend one of these sessions and encouraged to bring along parents and friends.
Orientations take place throughout the academic year, often in conjunction with Open House and Red Carpet Days sponsored by the Admissions Office. In order to learn the date, time, and location of the next session, please contact the Admissions Office.
Applicants are required to write a 2-3 page (double-spaced) Qualifying Essay. The Essay takes the form of a reply to a set of questions distributed at a Scholars Program Orientation session. These essays help the Scholars Admissions Committee to understand what individual applicants might bring to the Program.
Essays are due two weeks after the Orientation, and are submitted via e-mail
to the Scholars Program Assistant. The credentials of students who have submitted the Qualifying Essay and applied to the University are reviewed by
the Admissions Committee. Promising students are then invited to interview.
Qualified applicants to the Scholars Program are interviewed by the Director,
who is ordinarily assisted by a Scholars faculty member and current student.
Interviews last approximately 30 minutes. They provide the Admissions
Committee with additional information about the applicant’s gifts and interests. Subjects for discussion include the applicant’s high school record as well as
her academic and extracurricular interests.
The Scholars Program Assistant contacts applicants individually to schedule interviews. No student is invited to interview who has not submitted the Qualifying Essay or been admitted to Benedictine University.
Most applicants are notified by e-mail about the outcome of their application within two weeks of having completed the interview. Those admitted are asked to accept or decline the offer of admission within a specified time frame. Students with questions about the status of their application are encouraged to contact the Scholars Program Assistant.
Eligible students denied admission for a particular semester may apply again for admission for a subsequent semester; no applicant may apply more than twice in an academic year.